So I’m sitting here, exhausted, with a million thoughts just bouncing like those ping-pong balls in the lottery machine on the 11:00 news.
At this moment (roughly 9:15pm), I’m sitting in my hotel room in San Francisco at The Argent Hotel, perched on the 31st floor half-staring at my laptop, but mostly staring directly out in front of me, over my laptop screen, at a sprawling view of the San Francisco skyline. Through the glass, my eyes scan the darkened city and despite the daily transformation from bright to black, the sounds all remain the same. Sirens. Horns. Life. Just how I like it. Buildings stick up out of the ground and people live their lives in each of the little lights which shine out from each little window. They all have their own story to tell. Dots of light. I’m simply one of thousands upon thousands of boring, mundane dots of light tonight. Singularly, most of us have nothing compelling to say at this time. Aggregately, a fascinating novel could be written about what’s gone on in our little dots in the last 2 hours alone. It’s why I love cities.
Before I left to come out here last week, Stephanie and I had seen a documentary about one Alice Waters, a counter-culturer from the Berkeley of the 1960s. She isn’t well known for extreme or even wacky politics, as most of the characters out of that area were most asscoiated with at the time. She simply owns a restaurant and has made her name via her “philosophy of always using the highest quality, fresh, seasonal ingredients, grown and harvested in an ecologically sound manner.”
I became convinced that the timing of the documentary was a message – when I get to SF, go to Berkeley and check out Chez Panisse. Well, better luck next time, Jeff. I called at 2pm today just to see if I could get into the Cafe (not even the dining room) and was told that the next available time they have for the Cafe was 10:45 tonight. Looks like I’ll plan a little more in advance next time.
My trip to Los Angeles, as most of my trips to Los Angeles have been, was bizarre. In short, it involved almost meeting Ryan Seacrest, a cab ride which turned out to be one hour and $70, having a Filet Mignon lunch at Morton’s steakhouse at 11:45am and a stroll through the hideously offensive Universal Studios Citywalk. It all happened a little too quickly and it was quite a blur.
The most amusing part of the L.A. jaunt, however, was my call to Expedia to cancel my L.A. to S.F. flight due to a meeting going long. Bear with me here. My original flight was scheduled for 3:15. Our meeting went late and the place we were was, as I mentioned before, a one hour cab ride to LAX (because of traffic volume, not mileage). So on the recommendation of a local, I booked a flight out of Burbank Airport, or, as it’s called now, Bob Hope Airport. Anyway, I call Expedia at about 1:30pm and I explain to them that I need to cancel my LAX flight at 3:15. The woman on the other line says to me, “I can’t do that, sir, that flight is already in the air.”
Now I’m perplexed. I look around to make sure that I’m actually on the planet Earth and I confirm it is, indeed, 1:35pm right now. I tell the woman that the plane cannot possibly be in the air because it’s 1:30 and the flight is scheduled to depart at 3:15. She says “I’m looking at the clock, sir, and it’s 3:36 right now so that flight is an active flight.”
Once I found out she was located in the Central Time Zone, it all became clear to me. I then made things clear for her……can you believe it?
I barely realize Easter is tomorrow.
I went and had dinner tonight at The Thirsty Bear Brewery on the recommendation of the concierge at the hotel. It was so-so. Remind me to never again drink a beer that has slight vanilla flavoring. Thanks. Anyway, give these folks credit – they don’t just serve crap pub food, they offer a variety of Spanish-infused meals, served as tapas. Maybe I just picked the wrong ones, but it was take-it-or-leave it.
Anyway, the point, Jeff. I did a lot of driving today (more on that when I get home and post the pictures) and I’ve barely uttered a word to a single person other than myself today. That can drive any human crazy, so I’m sitting at dinner and all kinds of strange thoughts are going through my head. I finish up my dinner, pay up and start progressing towards the door. I stop to grab a mint there at the front and the very instant after I say “have a good night” to the host at the front, all the lights in the place just go dead. Complete blackout. I smile at the host and walk out. It felt very X-Files and my imagination went wild. What if I made the lights go out with my mind? That would be sweet.
Apparantly there a Mexican soccer team staying here at the hotel, because outside the hotel’s doors, seemingly at all times of the day, are soccer fans wearing the uniform of the Mexican footballers, lugging posters of players and actually waving flags. They swarm anyone associated with the team as they walk in or out. This morning I thought I’d dress “athletically” and wear some Adidas striped gym pants and a gray striped fleece to see if I could fool them and have them swarm me, just to see what it’s like. And what the hell, I’d sign some shit for ’em. Alas, no swarm. Just another dot of light.